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The 2023 AFC Championship game was a close one but the Kansas City Chiefs managed to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals at the end.
In a hurry? The big AFC showdown is Sunday, January 29th, 2023 at , and will air live on CBS and stream on Paramount+. These services provide CBS and any other TV channel you need to watch every game of the NFL playoffs:
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Table Of Contents
When the regular season comes to an end, the postseason commences with the Wild Card Weekend on January 14th, 2023. After the first round of the playoffs is played, the top seed will play the lowest remaining seed at home in the second round. The two other teams will then be paired with each other, and the higher seed among those teams will serve as the host for that game.
For example, if the second, third, and fourth seed won their opening games, the number one seed would play the number four seed in the second round. The number two seed would then play the number three seed at home.
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The winners of those matchups would then play in the AFC title game for the right to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. As usual, the higher seed would serve as the home team for that game.
History of the AFC Championship
The very first AFC Championship title game was played in the year 1970 during the regular season after a merger between NFL and American Football League. Since then, NFL comprised of 16 teams and the AFL of 10 teams. Therefore, a realignment was needed to create equal number of teams for both conferences. NFL’s Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers ended up joining the 10 AFL teams to form the AFC and the remaining 13 NFL teams became the NFC.
AFC Championship Game Schedule
The AFC title game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, for the second year in a row. Kickoff is at . The contest will be broadcast on CBS, which is available through many streaming services. It is also available via antenna depending on location, and will be streamed on Paramount+.
Veteran CBS Sports NFL announcers Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, and Tracy Wolfson will be on hand to commentate.
Here is the complete schedule for the NFL Playoff games.
- Sat Jan 14 : Wild Card Round — Seattle Seahawks (23) at San Francisco 49ers (41) (Fox)
- Sat Jan 14 : Wild Card Round — Los Angeles Chargers (30) at Jacksonville Jaguars (31) (NBC)
- Sun Jan 15 : Wild Card Round — Miami Dolphins (31) at Buffalo Bills (34) (CBS)
- Sun Jan 15 : Wild Card Round — New York Giants (31) at Minnesota Vikings (24) (Fox)
- Sun Jan 15 : Wild Card Round — Baltimore Ravens (17) at Cincinnati Bengals (24) (NBC)
- Mon Jan 16 : Wild Card Round — Dallas Cowboys (31) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14) (ESPN)
- Sat Jan 21 : AFC Division Round — Jacksonville Jaguars (20) at Kansas City Chiefs (27) (NBC)
- Sat Jan 21 : NFC Division Round — New York Giants (7) at Philadelphia Eagles (38) (Fox)
- Sun Jan 22 : AFC Division Round — Cincinnati Bengals (27) vs Buffalo Bills (10) (CBS)
- Sun Jan 22 : NFC Division Round — Dallas Cowboys (12) at San Francisco 49ers (19) (Fox)
- Sun Jan 29 : NFC Conference Championship — San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (Fox)
- Sun Jan 29 : AFC Conference Championship — Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
- Sun Feb 12 : Super Bowl (Fox)
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Streaming Services to Watch the AFC Championship
Depending on where you are located, you could put up an antenna and watch not just the AFC Championship game but almost all of the NFL playoffs. To learn how, see our HDTV antenna guide. It will tell you all you need to know. Check out Sling TV for a convenient way to integrate OTA and streaming TV.
It’s easier to go with a streaming service. These are our favorites:
The FuboTV base service package is $74.99/mo and comes with all the local channels such as CBS, NBC, and Fox. It also comes with ESPN (and much more), which will allow you to watch every game of the playoffs. You also get 1000 hours of cloud DVR and the ability to stream on up to 10 devices at once.
See our FuboTV review for all the details.
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DIRECTV STREAM offers packages starting at $74.99/mo that allow you to watch CBS and other local channels. For $99.99/mo, you can upgrade to the Choice package, which provides access to its excellent regional sports network (RSN) selection.
See our DIRECTV STREAM review for more information.
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Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV costs $69.99/mo and allows you to watch local feeds of all the national network affiliates. With it, you can watch all of the playoffs and more. It comes with unlimited cloud DVR (9-month storage) and the ability to stream on up to two devices. And you get Disney+ and ESPN+ to boot!
For more details, see our Hulu + Live TV review.
Other Streaming Services
There are other ways to stream the AFC Championship.
Paramount+ streams content that airs on CBS, which means that you can watch the AFC title game with it for just $4.99/mo. See our Paramount+ review.
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YouTube TV costs $72.99/mo a service similar to Hulu + Live TV. See our YouTube TV review for more.
Devices to Watch the AFC Championship
You can likely watch the AFC Championship game on one or more devices you already own. The three services we highlighted her support all the following:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile devices
- Apple TV
- iOS mobile devices
- Samsung smart TVs.
LG, Vizio, and Android TV-compatible smart TVs are supported by FuboTV and Hulu. Those two also support the Xbox One and Hulu alone supports the PlayStation.
See our individual streaming reviews for complete information.
Bengals vs Chiefs Game Analysis
The AFC Championship features the Cincinnati Bengals at the Kansas City Chiefs. Most power rankings have them effectively as good, with the Bengals still considered (albeit slight) underdogs. And the FanDuel Sportsbook line on the game currently has the teams dead even.
Cincinnati Bengals 2022-23 Season
The Cincinnati Bengals finished the season 12-4, having played one fewer game than the standard schedule after the cancellation earlier this month of their game against the Bills due to Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. They entered the playoffs as the number three seed. They also defeated the Chiefs in last year’s AFC Championship game, as well as in week 13 of this season.
Their main strength was the continued success of quarterback Joe Burrow, who has already become the QB with the most playoff wins in franchise history. Together with 2021 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase and 2021 Pro Bowl RB Joe Mixon, the team will look to return to the Super Bowl after a narrow defeat against the Rams last season.
Kansas City Chiefs 2022-23 Season
The Kansas City Chiefs, this year’s top seed in the AFC, finished the season at 14-3, thanks to another amazing season by Patrick Mahomes. This will be his fifth straight appearance in the Conference Championship Game, where he is currently 2-2 with one Super Bowl ring and another appearance.
In addition to their young superstar under center, Travis Kelce is in his 10th season with the team but is not showing any signs of his age, as he is still considered one of the best tight ends in either conference. Rookie RB Isiah Pacheco has emerged as a formidable threat from the backfield after injuries to their starter, Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Keys to Victory
The biggest obstacle in the past to the Bengals’ success has been the offensive line’s ability to protect Joe Burrow. During the 2021 season, including the playoffs, he was sacked 70 times in 20 games, the third-highest number in history. Although that didn’t seem to be an issue against Josh Allen and the Bills in this year’s AFC Divisional playoff, it’ll be hard to move the ball down the field if the offensive line can’t keep up.
One of Mahomes’ worst career performances was in the 2020 Super Bowl, where he faced the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. Coupling Brady with a Buccaneers defensive line that was incredibly good at creating pressure, Mahomes couldn’t extend plays, which is his usual key to success. He finished the game without a touchdown. The Chiefs QB also suffered a high ankle sprain against the Jaguars in the Divisional Round, which will likely limit his mobility, though head coach Andy Reid said Mahomes is determined to play Sunday.
If the Bengals can continually pressure Mahomes and force him out of the pocket on his injured ankle, their chances of winning will drastically improve. On the other hand, if the Chiefs’ defense can sack Burrow a few times, it’ll be much more difficult for the Bengals to find the end zone.
The AFC title game will take place on Jan 30th, and it will feature the two teams that have survived the first two rounds of the playoffs. The contest will take place at the stadium of the highest remaining seed and will be broadcast on CBS.
Many streaming services offer CBS as part of their base packages. If none of them work for you, look into using an antenna.
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What team has won the most AFC championships?
The New England Patriots have won 11 AFC championships with nine of those victories coming in the 21st century. Their most recent AFC title came in 2018 when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. The 2018 season was the most recent season in which the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
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What team has the most appearances in the AFC championships?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most AFC Championship Game appearances (16). The Seattle Seahawks have the distinction of having appeared in both AFC and NFC conference title games. They lost in the AFC conference title game to the Los Angeles Raiders for Super Bowl XVIII and won in the NFC conference title game for Super Bowl XL. Out of the current AFC teams, Houston Texans is the only team that has never played in the AFC Championship game even once.
Which team is the defending AFC champion?
The Cincinnati Bengals are the defending AFC champions. The Championship game last year was played on Sunday, January 30, 2022, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Bengals squeaked by the Kansas City Chiefs with a field goal in overtime, 27-24. They would go on to suffer a narrow defeat in turn to the NFC Champs, the Rams, at Super Bowl LVI.
How can I watch the rest of the NFL playoffs without cable?
You can learn how to watch the rest of the NFL playoffs with these articles:
See How to Watch NFL Without Cable for general advice. We also have articles on each team:
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Featured image: Lamar Hunt Trophy by Au Kirk under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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